Cavs Beat Sonics; Lewis Injures Shoulder
Cleveland 112, Seattle 85
CLEVELAND, Nov. 9 (Ticker) -- LeBron James played like a man on a mission.
James scored 21 of his 31 points in the first half, as the Cleveland Cavaliers cruised to an easy 112-85 victory over the slumping Seattle SuperSonics.
Cleveland used a 14-5 run to pull away early in the second quarter, when it allowed just 17 points. James provided an exclamation point when Eric Snow found him on the baseline for a monster dunk with 28 seconds left, increasing the lead to 65-43.
With 8:49 to play in the third quarter, James reeled in a pass from Donyell Marshall for a thunderous back-breaking alley-oop dunk that pushed the advantage to 99-71.
"That's why they call him 'The King,'" Marshall said. "I know it was a bad pass, but he made me look good."
Cleveland shot 50 percent (38-of-76) from the floor and outrebounded Seattle by a staggering 56-21, the largest margin in franchise history. The Cavaliers also made 31-of-33 free throws, including their first 28.
"Even our smalls did a nice job trying to rebound," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "I think the stat sheet is wrong. It says one fast-break point for the SuperSonics. (Our team) did a heck of a job if that stat is correct."
"I think that's where we hurt the most, on rebounding," Seattle guard Ronald Murray said.
Larry Hughes scored 13 points and Drew Gooden collected 11 and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers. Marshall, the NBA's only reserve averaging a double-double, had 13 points and nine rebounds.
Ray Allen scored 28 points for Seattle, which lost All-Star forward Rashard Lewis to a left shoulder injury early in the first quarter. Lewis, Seattle's second-leading scorer at 16.7 points, ran into teammate Vitaly Potapenko.
"You can't blame those mental errors on Rashard being out," Seattle coach Bob Weiss said. "We did not play defense the way we had talked about. They had a lot more juice than we did.'